25 November 2009

What are You Thankful For?

I've been dealing with some frustration and discouragement lately, so I decided to make a list of the things that I am thankful. Psalm 100:4, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name."

1) My Jesus, who died on the cross for MY sins and was resurrected. While I was yet a sinner, Christ died for me.

2) My husband. I know I get frustrated with him sometimes, but I thank God for him and the awesome work God has done in his heart and life. Lord, please remind me that he is still a work in progress as I am and that he needs grace too, as I do.

3) My son. Thank you Lord, for giving me such a sweet son. I am so grateful that he is not out stirring up trouble. I am grateful that he feels he can talk to us about important stuff.

4) Our dog. Thank you for Jake, that he loves us

5) My family. Lord, please help me to remember to pray for Missy and Paul and my parents.

6) Dave’s family. Thank you that they are supportive of our craziness.

7) The IRS issues being resolved. Thank you that we finally got our money.

8) My ability to attend school. Thank you that You are providing me a way to pay for my masters degree.

9) My job. Thank you that You continue to provide for us through my work.

10) My friends. Thank you for my friends that I can trust. To tell me the good, bad, and ugly.

11) For ministry opportunities. Thank you for providing me opportunities to share Christ with others and to pour out into their lives.

12) Our past. I am not thankful for the things we did, but I am thankful for You having your hand on us through those dark years.

13) I know I am supposed to be thankful for the rough times, but I am having trouble being thankful for some of them. Please help me in this area.

15 November 2009

Through the Looking Glass--It's All About Perspective

Lately, it seems that the enemy has been shooting firey darts in our direction, aiming for that big target painted on our backs.

As Dave and I continue to work in the direction of the church plant, the Lord continues to provide us guidance and confirmation we are going in the right direction. Dave preached an awesome series at a youth bible drill weekend in a church about 30 miles away from here, and we had an awesome time in worship this morning. The bible study for the church plant is really taking off and everything is going great.

But, the enemy seems to be always lurking, seeking to devour. 1 Peter 5:6-11 admonishes us to, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast." Peter warned us that we would suffer attacks from the enemy, so therefore, we should not be surprised when these attacks happen.

In Ephesians 6:16, Paul admonishes us to "...take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the firey darts of the evil one."

Lets face it, persecution hurts. Especially when it comes from people who claim to be Christians. And especially when it is undeserved and without merit. Why is it when everything seems to be going great, and the Lord is working mightly, that the enemy chooses those opportune moments to start firing away? These types of attacks aim right for that secret wound, that has been there since childhood, that only the Lord and the enemy know about. Paul also tells us in Ephesians 6:12 "that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces in the heavenly realms."

So, what has the Lord taught me today about persecution, firey darts, and the enemy? That I need to stand firm on the Word, put on my shield of faith (Eph 6:12), and to forgive those who persecute me (Romans 12:14). Romans 12:17-21 states, "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

As a Christian, and a servant of the Most High, I have to remember that Jesus stated "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:9-12).

We will do well to remember that even though the enemy uses real flesh and blood people to do the attacking, that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Eph 6:12)

Lord, please help me to pray for those who are attacking us. For You to extend mercy to them. Please help me forgive them, as this is Your will. Please help me to continue to love them and to remember that Your will be done, not theirs. In Jesus name. Amen.

09 November 2009

They pay for THAT?????

HHmmmmm.....had an interesting and rather humerous conversation today at work. For those of you who don't know or who may actually care to know :), I work for a defense contractor. Anyway, we were discussing Hurricane Ida today and what kind of effects it would have in our area. Well, anyway, I was telling some friends that my hubby and our Pastor are in Pensacola, FL for a Florida Baptist Convention meeting and that they were talking about coming back tonight instead of tomorrow night because of the impending storm.

Now, for sure, everyone in my sphere of influence at work knows that I am a Christian and that my husband is a Pastor. Or so I thought... Anyway, one of the guys we were talking to asked me, "So what does your husband do?" To which I replied, "he is the Associate Pastor at our church." To which he replied, with a rather incredulous look on his face, "they pay for THAT?!?!?!?!?!!?"

04 November 2009

PW/MW Treasure Hunt

Here are answers for a treasure hunt for the M2M preachers wives group...

The Treasures

1. First Name.
Cindi, Mom, Dave's wife

2. State and Country of Residence.
Panama City, FL

3. Husband’s Ministry Title.
Associate Pastor of Students/Outreach (current church) and Church Planter (we are in the process of planting a new church)

4. Length of time in Current Ministry Location.
7ish years

5. Children? If yes, give gender and ages.
Shane, boy, 19

6. Number of unique homes in which you’ve lived during your marriage.
4 - three were apartments and town homes before we were saved and serving in ministry. We have lived in our current house since 1996.
7. Cook Sunday lunch or eat out?
I'd love to be able to say that I do a home-cooked meal every Sunday, but I'd be lying. Its usually "get your own lunch day" meaning make whatever sandwich or bowl of cereal or leftovers you want. Or, we go out to eat.

8. Typically on time for Sunday School or not?
I don't go to Sunday school (gasp!!!...I know). I help out in the church office during that time by updating the attendance records for the AM service.

9. Favorite TV Show.
We don't have cable. That said, I really like HEROS, the new Trauma show, CSI, Law & Order, and The Office :) Oh...and love watching the "24" series...we get them from Netflix.

10. Something you watch/like/do that you would never tell the church people. (Except now you just did…lol)
I love driving (with the wind whipping through my hair) and music blaring and sunroof open...sometimes Christian....sometimes old 80s. But, I have found out that there are some old songs I just can't sing anymore :/

11. Most annoying church-related pet peeve.
People who try to entrap me and others with the bondage of religion and legalism. Jesus set me & Dave free from the chains of bondage...why would I EVER want to go back???
12. One thing you need to throw away but can’t bring yourself to do it.
My old teddy bear (Bager Bear) that I have had since I was born. He is in a storage container in the garage...and has lost all his fuzz...and has holes...

13. The one food you can not live without.
ONLY ONE??? Reeces Big-Cups, Coke Zero, pizza, mexican cheezy stuff, Starbucks lattes

14. Parsonage or have your own home?
We own our own home...a PW friend of mine told me once when we were talking about "THE SERMON" ... you know the one that you may as well start packing your bags when your hubby says he is gonna preach "IT" ... She said, well at least you own your own home! :)
15. Freak when the doorbell rings or always ready for a visitor?
Freak...our home is always a wreck. I'd love to be a susie homemaker, but I just don't have enough time in the day.